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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 12, 2013 10:30pm-1:00am EST

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>> good evening, i'm marco rubio. i'm blessed to represent florida in the united states senate. let me begin with congratulating president obama on his second term. i have the honor of responding to the state of the union address on behalf of my fellow relationships. i have the special privilege lidge to address our troops from arled the world. the state of the union address is a reminder on how the unique the american history it is. america is exceptional because we believe that every life at every stage is precious and that every one everywhere has a god-given right to go as far as their atlantaed -- talents will take them. this idea is personal.
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my parents immigrated here to improve their life and to give their children a better one. my dad worked as a bar tenor -- bartender and my mother as a maid. i did not inherit any money from them but i inherited something better. an opportunity to make it to the middle class and beyond no matter where you start off in life. it comes from a free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. when they suck they hire more people who -- success they hire more people. presidents in both parties from john f. kennedy to ronald reagan have known that our economy is the source of our middle class prosperity. but president obama, he believes it is the cause of our problems. that the economic down tun happened because the government did not tax enough, spend
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enough, or control enough. as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for washington to tax more, borrow more, and spend more. this idea that our problems were caused by the government that was too small, it is not true. in fact, the major cause of our recent downturn was the housing crisis created by the government policies. the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help middle-class taxpayers is an old idea that has failed. it will not help you get you ahead it will hold you back. it will limit your opportunities and more government isn't going inspirnse more idea, new businesses, it's going to create uncertainty. more government breeds complicated rules and laws that small businesses can't afford to follow. more government raises taxes on employers who pass the costs on
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to their employees to fewer hows, lower pay, and even layoffs. many government programs that claim to help the middle class often end up hurting them. obamacare was supposed to help middle class americans afford health care but now some are losing their health care insurance they were happen -- were happy with. they are being forced to lay people off and switch from full time employees to part-time workers. does this mean there is no room for government? of course not. it plays a crucial part in enforcing rules and providing some security against the risks of modern life. but governments role is widely limit bid the constitution. -- limited by the constitution. there are valid reasons to be concerned about the plan to grow the government.
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any time anyone opposes the president's agenda he and his alleys attack their motives. no matter how many laws we pass our government can't control the weather, he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air. when we suggest to strengthen our safety net programs he accuses of wanting us to leave the elderly to defend themselves. he even criticized us to race taxes to delay military cut, cuts that were his idea in the first place. his favorite attack of all, those who don't agree with him only care about rich people. mr. president, i still live in the same neighborhood i grew up. my neighbors are not millionaires, they are workers who have to get up tomorrow morning and pay the bills. they are immigrants and they
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came here because they were stuck in improvement. the tax increases and the deficit spending that you proposed will hurt middle class families. it will cost them their raises, it will cost them their benefits, it will kevin cost some of them their jobs. it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to help them. i want to protect my neighbors. hard working americans who don't need us to come up with a plan to grow the government, they need a plan to grow the middle class. economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. our economy slarching the last few months of 2012. if we can get the economy to grow at 4% a year it will create middle class jobs. tax increase can't do this. raising taxes won't create
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private sector jobs. that's why i hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead, work with us to achieve real growth until our economy. one of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. god also blessed america with abundant coal and natural gas. instead of wasting more money on companies let's open up federal land for exploration. we can grow our energy industry, it will make us energy independent and it will help bring administering back from places like china. simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class because it will make it easier
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for smaller businesses to hire and grow. we agree with the president, we should lowerer our corporate tax rate so companies will bring their money and jobs back here from overseas. we can also help grow the economy if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attack the best and brightest. -- attract the best and the brightest. first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws. helping the middle class grow also requires an education system that brings the skills that jobs entail. we need to incentivize local schools and career training. we need to give all parents, especially the parents with special needs to opportunity to spend their children to the school of their choice. because college tuition costs
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have grown so fast we need to change the way we pay for higher education. i believe in financial aid. i could not have gob to college without it. it is not about spending more money. it is about strengthening and modernizing them. the 20th century work force should not accept 20th century solutions. they are returning veterans, they are single parents so they can earn a decent wage. they are workers who lost jobs that are never come ch coming back. we need student aid that does not discriminate like online courses or degree programs that give you credit for work experience. when i finished school i owed over $100,000 in student loans. today, many graduates face massive student loans. we must give students more information on the cost and
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benefits on the loans they are taking out. all of these measures are key to helping grow the economy. we won't be able to sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve the debt problem. every money we borrow does not help create jobs. the president loves to blame the debt on president bush but president obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight. our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. that is why we need a balanced budget amendment. one of these programs is medicare, especially important to me. it provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately to die with dignity. it take pays for the care my mother receives right now.
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i would never support any changes to medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan to help save medicare without hurting refirees. when is the president going to offer his detailed plan to save it? tonight would have been a good time for him to do it. he faces other challenges as well. we were heartbroken by the tragedy in connecticut. we must be able to fix the violence in our country. our foreign policy, america continues to be indecember pencible to global liberty. the world is a better place when america is the strongest nation on it. we can't remain powerful if we don't have an economy that can afford it.
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nothing has frust rated me more than false choices like the president layed out tonight. the choices are not just between big government and big business. we need an effective government that allows new businesses to create middle class jobs. we don't have to raise taxes to avoid the devastating cuts to our military. republicans have proposed a plan . in other words to balance the budget the choices don't have to be higher tacks. instead we should grow the economy so we create new taxpayers not new taxes. so the government will be able to help those who can't help themselves. every problem can't be solved by the government. many are caused by the moral break down in our society. despite our differences i know
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that republicans and democrats love america. i say we come together to solve our problems. the choices before us could not be more important. if we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous americans ever. if we do not, we will for ever be known as the generation responsible for america's decline. at a time when one showdown after another ends in short-term deals that do little about our problems some believe that our government leaders can't or won't make the right choices anymore. our strength never came from the white house or the capital. it always comes from our people. a people united from the american idea that if you have a dream and you're willing to work hard nothing should be impossible. americans have always celebrated an been inspired by those who succeeded. it is the dream that of those who are trying to make it.
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across this land, parents will hold their newborn children in their arms for the first time. many of these parents -- for many of these parents life has not gone the way they planned. make they were born in circumstances they found it difficult to escape. maybe they are young mothers, all alone, the father long gone. tonight, when they look into the eyes of their children, their lives will change forever. in those eyes, they will see what their parents saw in me and what your parents saw in you. they saw all the hopes and dreams they had for themselves. this dream for a better life of their children is the hope of parents everywhere. politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true. we americanses have always known better. from the earliest days we embraced liberty and because we
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did america remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance. each time our nation has faced great challenges what has kept us together is a shared lope for a better life. now, let that hope bring us together again. to solve the challenges of our time and we can write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation a man has ever known. thanks for listening. may god bless all of you. may god bless our president. and may god continue to bless the united states of america. >> senator marco rubio, the republican of florida. we'll bring president obama's full state of the union in a re-air in about 20 minutes or so. we're taking your calls to hear
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your thoughts. we're looking at a shot of the u.s. capitol building. we're following tweets and looking at the #sotu. howard on the democrats line. caller: my thoughts is like the republicans have always done what they always done. they always try to put us into the whole concept is like, you know, it is the middle class. in this country that we have forgotten there is three different classes of people. they try to make us believe there is the rich, the middle class, and then that was it. but there is still -- it is the
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middle class then there is the poor. those ones who make below the minimum wage freeway for state to state that -- from state to state. my concept is with them is, any time you can talk to the president -- the president and you have not come to a conclusion with him and agree with him on anything to give him any kind of concept is two things. it is like this. why is it when you become an average citizen to take office -- as you get into an office where a senate or congressman where that next thing we know that you are making more money than you would make barely as a representative. then it's all of a sudden, it changes.
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my whole concept is like i couldn't believe that the congress within itself has two different -- almost two to three different lingers of policies, which is like the tea party, the new tea party, then you have the old right-wing. so therefore, i don't you said and i will never understand is like, why is it when we're talking about doing something which is less fortunate and you tell them that they got to suffer more than what they have been suffering. people are going through more financial stability which has no ways, nobody to talk to, nobody
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to express, when you call congress and let them know what you feel. your word doesn't mean anything because they do not react to it. >> the senate from kentucky will deliver a tea party response to the president's address. you can find that on our website and we'll broadcast that later. and a spanish version of senator rubio's speech will be online at c-span.org. we're getting your opinions about the president's address. here's a tweet that came in frun john mccain. he wrote disappointed but not surprised for the president to not address to the 60,000 dead in syria. jerry on the republican line. caller: good evening. i read an article about not just
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any federal agency but the i.r.s. setting the rule for the affordable care act. among other things children don't have to be covered. what i would like to ask any democrat who is hearing my words that will be on your line later tonight is, do you think it is good policy that the internal revenue service is writing the rules for our health care? does anyone out there to say yes, i want the i.r.s. to come in between me and my doctor or my children's health care and their doctor. it is insane. if the president wants to have job creation in this country, one, of course is economic growth and not having regulations to stifle it but repeal obamacare. that is the single biggest job killer out there. let's repeal obamacare and have
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job growth and then i think that will get our economy back on its feet again. but obama, the notion that the i.r.s. is coming between the citizens of this country and their doctors, that is insane. how can anyone support such a policy? >> next caller, laura. >> i agree with the last caller that i don't think the government should be -- that the proposed plan is not a good form for the solution to the health care reform. i think that a person who cannot afford health care should get penalized for not being able to afford health care is not the answer. and that's about what i had. >> whade what did you think about his comments about immigration? caller: i think he had a lot of
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good points and i agreed with most of them but the only thing i disagree with is obamacare. >> let's take a listen to president obama talking about immigration on the state of the union. >> real reform means stronger border security. we can put more boots on the southern border than any time in our history and reducing illegal crossing to the lowest levels in 40 years. real reform means blirk a responsible pathway to citizenship. that includes passing a bagged, going the back of the line for those who are trying to come here leaguely. rell reform means fixing the system.
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in other words, we know what needs to be done. as we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working to draft a bill and i applaud their efforts. send me a comprehensive immigration bill in the next few months and i will sign it right away and america will be better for it. let's get it done. >> president obama talking about immigration. our next caller right here in washington, d.c. what did you think? caller: well, you know, i mean -- about senator rubio's response. i'm hopeful that the republican party can be the party of the
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future. i'm disapointed, frankly, in what was offered tonight. i mean, it was a lot of backward looking talk which is not what i'm trying to hear. we need to reinvent ourselves. i don't want to hear about the talk about obamacare. i don't want to hear the talk about all they want is taxes. senator rubio, if he is committed to preventing the sequester which would be disasterous as he says he is i'm encouraged that he would encourage his colleagues to getting together and do something about it. because it is simply not fair, it is wrong and it was very discouraging to see how much posturing there was tonight. >> the most tweeted moment
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tonight was about middle class opportunity and minimum wage. that was at 9:52 p.m. eastern with 24,000 tweets per minute. let's hear what kim has to say. evan reflected on senator rubio's speech. what caught your ear tonight? caller: thank you so much for the service that you've been providing since 1979. what caught my ear was when president obama was speaking about protecting our rights at home, however, he failed to mention anything about the growing surveillance state under which we live. it is lucrative that they are turning out these surveillance, they are tapping our phones, look at our e-mails and who know what is they are doing with the drones. that is something that is of great concern to me.
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our civil liberties are being taken away and we're just sitting here looking like sitting ducks. >> kim, someone tweeted in, glad to hear president obama talking about cyber security. eugene is up next in monroe, louisiana. welcome. caller: hello. i think president obama laid out the red carpet tonight and it is up to the republicans to glue it down. the reason they don't want to glue it down is because he's a powerful, black man. >> what caught your ear tonight? what stood out to you? caller: the health care. and the raise up to $9. >> ok. david in tennessee, a republican.
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hi david. welcome. caller: i would like to comment on the gun control issue that the president spoke about. i, myself, is a veteran and i was proud to do that. by doing that, i gave myself and everybody else in this country the right under the second amendment to choose to be able to defend themselves. i don't think that congress and the president should have any infringening ideas upon changing that. everybody here in the united states has a right to defend themselves. i understand that some bad things have happened here in the united states. it isn't so much the weapon, it is by people who shouldn't have them. by fixing the system to prevent those types of people from getting these types of weapons
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and providing additional security and making changes to hippa and things like that to get these people into a system where they can't get weapons and make weapon owner es be responsible for their weapons. everybody i know that are reresponsible gun owners they are just that, they are responsible. i think infringing on the second amendment would be something that i'm not in favor of. >> president obama makes an emotional gun control plea in his speech. it says congressional leaders must honor the memory of thousands of victims of gun owners. -- gun violence. the story points out that green ribbons that members of congress
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had, vice president biden also wore one were in honor of victims of gun violence. nancy from california on the republican library. caller: hi. >> what do you think about tonight's speech and the response? caller: i thought the speech was great. my concern is that -- with obamacare as a nurse, i'm concerned about the mentally ill. there is no resources out there, at least here in california right now for -- teens have nowhere to go i think if we can help the mentally ill there would be no doorer in, there would be no sandy hook. i think our country is on the brink of a lot of mental illness. we really need to address that.
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i wish president obama would look into that and see that is a big need, at least here in california, at least where i live. >> thanks, nancy. president obama also talks about foreign affairs, some international issues and overseas. here's president obama talking about afghanistan. >> we have brought home 30,000 troops. this spring our troops will move into a support role. tonight i can announce that over the next year another 34,000 american troops will come home from afghanistan this drawdown will continue and by the end of next year, our war in afghanistan will be over. [applause]
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beyond 2014, america's commitment to a unified and sovereign afghanistan will endure. but the nature of our commitment will change. we're negotiating an agreement with the afghan government that focuses on two missions, training and equipping afghan forces so the country does not slip into chaos. and counterterrorist so we can pursue terrorists. >> you're looking at the live shot of the u.s. capitol building. senator paul is giving a tea party response to the president's state of the union address. you can find that on our website, c-span.org. we'll bring that to you later on. senator paul tweeted earlier, only through lower taxes and less regulation will the economy grow again.
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that is what the state of the union hashtag and a tea party hashtag. this is members of congress and their tweets. you can see other there on the screen as well. our next caller in new jersey on the democrats line. caller: how are you? good evening. i was calling to talk about the immigration reform. i think what the politicians should really do and the president, i think he addressed it pretty well tonight. they should point to the economic benefits of having some sensible immigration reform. if you look back at the immigration rates we have, you will see that it has declined since the country has gone through the economic depression that we had. so what really -- it should be about not only the border issue but holding companies for the people they hire.
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that gives them a legal pathway to citizenship. that will encourage more positive immigration which will lead to better economic growth within the country. we should try to put aside our differences and focus on strategic ways of addressing the immigration issue. because if we leave it as it is right now, i mean, you're going have more and more illegal immigrants in the country. that could result in high crime rates, employers hiring people illegally. that is not helping us but hurting us. so i think the president addressed that issue very well. i think we should put aside democrats, republicans and independents and encourage our congressmen and people in congress office to address it strategically. >> alyssa writes that president obama wants to reduce global
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post-by empowering women and educating children. where are you calling us from? >> i'm calling from new york. >> welcome. caller: thank you. i stand behind our president, i think he addressed a lot of the issues -- most of the issues anyway that is a problem in this country at the moment. i am disheartened as a latino to hear senator rubio, hearg his rebuttal. it is almost like he's out of touch with what is really going on. if that's the republican's standpoint, that is why the republican party is in such disarray at this moment. they continue thinking and
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standing on these issues that they keep addressing. there will be no more republican party in this country. i think that at some point we have to become progressively more open minded. i'm also a retired policeman and a social worker at the moment and i see the policies of obama being more engaging and open minded. to hear a latino, young senator speak the way rubio spoke it is just mind-boggling. i can't see it. i don't understand his point of view. >> comments are coming in on our facebook page that c-span, here's one from sharon. people, listen to what the
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president is saying. he's not going to allow our representatives to have a say in anything he doesn't like. with a different opinion we hear from debbie. she says the president was fantastic. you can join that conversation by looking for c-span on facebook. donna is our next caller on the independent line. >> how are you? >> good. caller: rubio wants to get rid of the new health care law that benefits the middle class. i say lets get rid of his top of the line funded health care that we're paying for him. also, the only republican for medicare is to make a voucher system out of it which 70% of americans are against. i wish obama would have talked
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about chuck hagel's nomination for secretary of defense. i think it is sickening that senators like mccain, they have blackened his nomination. i think he is the best person that the time to be secretary of defense. i think mccain has a ven debt that against him. that's about it. i love this idea about tragse minimum wage. that was probably the best thing he said tonight. thank you. >> rick in virginia and he is a republican. good evening. caller: how are you? >> good. caller: first of all, let's talk about the i.r.s. and taxes. first of all, i think the i.r.s. should abolish them period. they will put a surcharge on everything. if you're a billionaire and you
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spend $1 billion you get taxed on it. if you come into the country illegally, you're getting taxed. i look at our government as what they are doing right now as far as retirement is concerned. they get the full paycheck no matter if they work or not. i think that is totally incorrect. it should not be like that. it should be like any other person. why should my social security money pay for their retirement. then when they pass away their wife our husband gets 80% of their retirement. think is wrong. i look at our government with blinded eyes and i see what they are doing and they are not doing anything their people or their state. it is the way government is.
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i look at situations where way that the government is going to help us out when they can't keep their checkbooks correctly. i guess it is still happening today. we still voted the same people back in the office. i think the only way our government is going to change if we put new faces and younger generations. a major thing the government should do is -- >> i hear a comment from nancy pelosi, congresswoman of california and the leader of democrats in the house. no american should wait longer than one hour to cast a vote in the world's strongest democracy. susan, new york, a republican. caller: thank you for taking my phone call. i think the tone of of the president was a little bit uplifting. what we didn't hear is how is the president going to handle
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the deficit. the deficit is the major halting point of this country right now. the deficit is hurting our counties, cities, and our villages. for the first time, maybe not in this country but in his presidency, we have big cities that are going bankrupt. so what i heard about the president's speech tonight was a lot of spending. spending, spending, spending and not enough to help people. i think medicare and social security is not the fault of the poverty people of this country. i think it is the fault of society as a whole. by the way, government is for the people and by the people and this is not barack obama's government. it is the american people's government. thank you. >> let's take a look at the
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president's comments on gun violence from the state of the union earlier tonight. >> it has been two months since newtown. i know this is not the first time that this country has debated on how to reduce gun violence. but this time it is different. overwhelming majority of americans, american who is believe in the second amendment, have come together around common sense reform. like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. [applause] senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns. police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war off our streets because these police chiefs are tired of seeing their guys and gals being out gunned.
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each of these proposals deserves a vote in congress. [applause] if you want to vote no, that's your choice. but these proposals deserve a vote. because in the two months since newtown, more than 1,000 birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. >> president obama and his state of the union earlier this evening. you can see an image of a green ribbon on vice president's lapel those are in honor of victims of gun violence. you're looking at a shot of the
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u.s. capitol building, the outside. it is calming down a little bit from earlier. we will bring you a replay of the state of the union so you can see it in its entirety. karen tweeted in earlier and said victims of gun violence say they deserve a vote received the biggest applause yet. another tweet that came in, colin says that marco rubio gave brilliant responses, refreshing to hear truth. dave is up next, plano, texas. what did you think? caller: hi, thank you for the opportunity. you know i am 32 years i came from india all the way. i -- this is the nation -- this is the land, america who gave me a chance to do my masters. also, to make my life in a new role in engineering. this is the opportunity -- the
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country of opportunity. this is our president barack obama. he has given so much of choice for me and my children and my grandchildren over a period of year and all what we see is nothing but abinstruction just for politics by this so-called mitch mcconnell and all these republicans and people stop it. if they truly love this nation and love their grandchildren let them go forward instead of having them live on the inherited money. earn the living, be competitive in the world and go forward. this is what it is going on. what i heard today is from this other two, the marco rubio and the other guy and both are usually nothing but obstruction. they did not listen carefully
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what president obama is trying to say. further more, he did not talk about deficits? this is such a pure nonsense because job creation, when the job is going to be created, all it is going -- it has a rippling effect on the economy and it will be reduce the deficit. all these keeping of the surge and everything in place, keeping this nation far ahead of everyone in the world, this is what it is. they are just stopping the greatest of america. this sun acceptable. that's all i wanted to say. >> ok, let's go the west coast now. hi, mike. caller: how are you? >> good. caller: president obama says we can't achieve prosperity without
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cutting spending. we can achieve balance by tremendous prosperity at the same time. i don't think anyone will look at the last four years of the slow economic growth and they barack obama's out of control spending record. you know, he has spent incredible debt and incredible deficits and yet the economy continues to flounder. i think it is true that we can cut taxes and achieve that prosperity because it has worked every time we've done it. but massive deficits have never brought us tons of prosperity. certainly, people will make the argument that dug the new deal we did achieve that but that was because of the war we were able to come out of the depression, not the spending that went on. we had years of that and it never worked. we're going down the same course
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now. what prosperity we had in the 1980's and the 1990's we did control government, we did control regulation, we did cut taxes. the result spoke for itself. we had nearly two decades of growth. i know president clinton took credit for some of that but it was not his policies like the democrats like to claim that brought us that prosperity. he never raised taxes, president reagan lowered taxes. so the economy was still able to beat those headwinds that came with the clinton tax hikes. it continued to grow under reagan's tax in the 1980's. we need to look at something different. what we're doing is not working. all this spending and the spending the president provides is not going to get us where we
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need to be. it has not worked in the last four years. what the health care reform plan, some callers have said that this is good for the middle class. it hasn't. everyone i know has seen a tremendous hike in their health care premiums. >> we will go now to a re-air of president obama's state of the union address and marco rubio's g.o.p. response. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states! [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you.
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mr. speaker, mr. vice president,
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members of congress, fellow citizens -- fifty-one years ago, john f. kennedy declared to this chamber that "the constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress." "it is my task," he said, "to report the state of the union -- to improve it is the task of us all." tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the american people, there is much progress to report. after a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home.
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[applause] after years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. we buy more american cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. [applause] our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before. together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can
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say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger. [applause] but we gather here knowing that there are millions of americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. our economy is adding jobs -- but too many people still can't find full-time employment. corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs -- but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged. it is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of america's economic growth -- a rising, thriving middle class. [applause]
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it is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country -- the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. it is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few, that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation. [applause] the american people don't expect government to solve every problem. they don't expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue.
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but they do expect us to put the nation's interests before party. [applause] they do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. for they know that america moves forward only when we do so together, and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all. our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget -- decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery. over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than
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$2.5 trillion -- mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of americans. as a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances. now we need to finish the job. and the question is, how? in 2011, congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars' worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. these sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. they'd devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. they would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs.
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that's why democrats, republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea. now, some in this congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training, medicare and social security benefits. that idea is even worse. [applause] yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. and those of us who care deeply
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about programs like medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms -- otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations. but we can't ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. [applause] we won't grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. most americans -- democrats, republicans, and independents -- understand that we can't just cut our way to prosperity. they know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit
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reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. and that's the approach i offer tonight. on medicare, i'm prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. [applause] already, the affordable care act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. the reforms i'm proposing go even further. we'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. we'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for medicare, because our medical bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital -- they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. [applause]
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and i am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don't violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. our government shouldn't make promises we cannot keep -- but we must keep the promises we've already made. [applause] to hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. after all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks?
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how is that fair? how does that promote growth? now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. [applause] the american people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring, a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can't pay a lower rate than their hard-working
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secretaries, a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in america. that's what tax reform can deliver. that's what we can do together. i realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won't be easy. the politics will be hard for both sides. none of us will get 100% of what we want. but the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking americans. so let's set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. and let's do it without the
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brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. [applause] the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. [applause] let's agree, right here, right now, to keep the people's government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the united states of america. the american people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.
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now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. but let's be clear -- deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs -- that must be the north star that guides our efforts. every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation -- how do we attract more jobs to our shores? how do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? and how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living? a year and a half ago, i put forward an american jobs act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs.
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i thank the last congress for passing some of that agenda, and i urge this congress to pass the rest. tonight, i'll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. let me repeat -- nothing i'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. it's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth. [applause] our first priority is making america a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. after shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three.
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caterpillar is bringing jobs back from japan. ford is bringing jobs back from mexico. after locating plants in other countries like china, intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. and this year, apple will start making macs in america again. there are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in youngstown, ohio. a once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3d printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. there's no reason this can't happen in other towns. so tonight, i'm announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the departments of defense and energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. and i ask this congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that
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the next revolution in manufacturing is made in america. [applause] if we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to alzheimer's, developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs, devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful. now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. now is the time to reach a level of research and development not
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seen since the height of the space race. [applause] and today, no area holds more promise than our investments in american energy. after years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. we have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar -- with tens of thousands of good, american jobs to show for it. we produce more natural gas than ever before -- and nearly everyone's energy bill is lower because of it. and over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.
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but for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. yes, it's true that no single event makes a trend. but the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods -- all are now more frequent and intense. we can choose to believe that superstorm sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of
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science -- and act before it's too late. [applause] the good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. i urge this congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one john mccain and joe lieberman worked on together a few years ago. but if congress won't act soon to protect future generations, i will. i will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy. four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. we've begun to change that.
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last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in america. so let's generate even more. solar energy gets cheaper by the year -- so let's drive costs down even further. as long as countries like china keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we. in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. that's why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. but i also want to work with this congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water. indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together.
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so tonight, i propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an energy security trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. if a non-partisan coalition of ceos and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. let's take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we've put up with for far too long. i'm also issuing a new goal for america -- let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. [applause] the states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen. america's energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. ask any ceo where they'd rather
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locate and hire -- a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet, high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. the ceo of siemens america -- a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to north carolina -- has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they'll bring even more jobs. and i know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. i've seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings. [laughter] tonight, i propose a "fix-it-first" program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.
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and to make sure taxpayers don't shoulder the whole burden, i'm also proposing a partnership to rebuild america that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most -- modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children. let's prove that there is no better place to do business than the united states of america. and let's start right away. part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again. but even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many
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families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. that's holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. right now, there's a bill in this congress that would give every responsible homeowner in america the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today's rates. democrats and republicans have supported it before. what are we waiting for? take a vote, and send me that bill. right now, overlapping
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regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. what's holding us back? let's streamline the process, and help our economy grow. these initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and housing will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. but none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. and that has to start at the earliest possible age. study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. but today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. most middle-class parents can't
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afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. and for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. tonight, i propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in america. every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on -- by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. in states that make it a priority to educate our youngest
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children, like georgia or oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. so let's do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. let's give our kids that chance. [applause] let's also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. right now, countries like germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they're ready for a job.
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at schools like p-tech in brooklyn, a collaboration between new york public schools, the city university of new york, and ibm, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering. we need to give every american student opportunities like this. four years ago, we started race to the top -- a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. tonight, i'm announcing a new challenge to redesign america's high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. we'll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math -- the skills today's employers are looking for to fill jobs right
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now and in the future. now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. it's a simple fact -- the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. but today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt. through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. but taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it's our job to make sure they do. tonight, i ask congress to change the higher education act,
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so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. and tomorrow, my administration will release a new "college scorecard" that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria -- where you can get the most bang for your educational buck. to grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today's jobs require. but we also have to make sure that america remains a place where everyone who's willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead. our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. and right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the
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time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. [applause] real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made -- putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years. real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship -- a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning english, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
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and real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy. in other words, we know what needs to be done. as we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and i applaud their efforts. now let's get this done. send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and i will sign it right away.
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but we can't stop there. we know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. today, the senate passed the violence against women act that joe biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. i urge the house to do the same. and i ask this congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the paycheck fairness act this year. [applause]
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we know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day's work with honest wages. but today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. that's wrong. that's why, since the last time this congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.
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this single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. it could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank, rent or eviction, scraping by or finally getting ahead. for businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. in fact, working folks shouldn't have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while ceo pay has never been higher. so here's an idea that governor romney and i actually agreed on last year -- let's tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on. [applause] tonight, let's also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it's virtually impossible to get ahead.
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factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. america is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. and that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them. let's offer incentives to companies that hire americans who've got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. let's put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run- down neighborhoods. and this year, my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in america to get these communities back on their feet. we'll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, education, and housing. we'll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest.
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and we'll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood. because what makes you a man isn't the ability to conceive a child -- it's having the courage to raise one. [applause] stronger families. stronger communities. a stronger america. it is this kind of prosperity -- broad, shared, and built on a thriving middle class -- that has always been the source of our progress at home. it is also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world. tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and
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civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. because of them, we can say with confidence that america will complete its mission in afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al qaeda. [applause] already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. this spring, our forces will move into a support role, while afghan security forces take the lead. tonight, i can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 american troops will come home from afghanistan. this drawdown will continue. and by the end of next year, our war in afghanistan will be over.
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beyond 2014, america's commitment to a unified and sovereign afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. we are negotiating an agreement with the afghan government that focuses on two missions -- training and equipping afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al qaeda and their affiliates. today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. different al qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged -- from the arabian
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peninsula to africa. the threat these groups pose is evolving. but to meet this threat, we don't need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. instead, we will need to help countries like yemen, libya, and somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in mali. and, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to americans. [applause] as we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. that is why my administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations.
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throughout, we have kept congress fully informed of our efforts. i recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we're doing things the right way. so, in the months ahead, i will continue to engage with congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the american people and to the world. [applause] of course, our challenges don't end with al qaeda. america will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons. the regime in north korea must know that they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. provocations of the sort we saw
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last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats. likewise, the leaders of iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. at the same time, we will engage russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands -- because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.
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america must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. we know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private e-mail. we know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. we cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy. that's why, earlier today, i signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. now, congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.
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this is something we should be able to do on a bipartisan basis. even as we protect our people, we should remember that today's world presents not only dangers, but opportunities. to boost american exports, support american jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a trans-pacific partnership. and tonight, i am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership with the european union -- because trade that is free and fair across the atlantic supports millions of good-paying american jobs. [applause] we also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all.
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in many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. so the united states will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades -- by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women, by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves, by saving the world's children from preventable deaths, and by realizing the promise of an aids-free generation.
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above all, america must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. i saw the power of hope last year in rangoon -- when aung san suu kyi welcomed an american president into the home where she had been imprisoned for years. when thousands of burmese lined the streets, waving american flags, including a man who said, "there is justice and law in the united states -- i want our country to be like that." in defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the americas to africa, from europe to asia. in the middle east, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. the process will be messy, and
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we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like egypt, but we can -- and will -- insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. we will keep the pressure on a syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every syrian. and we will stand steadfast with israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. these are the messages i will deliver when i travel to the middle east next month. all this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk -- our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women
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of the united states armed forces. as long as i'm commander-in- chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world. we will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. we will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families -- gay and straight. we will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have
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proven under fire that they are ready for combat. we will keep faith with our veterans -- investing in world- class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors, supporting our military families, and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. and i want to thank my wife michelle and dr. jill biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as they serve us. thank youu, honey. thank you, jill.
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but defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. we must all do our part to make sure our god-given rights are protected here at home. that includes our most fundamental right as citizens -- the right to vote. when any americans -- no matter where they live or what their party -- are denied that right simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.
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that's why, tonight, i'm announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in america. and i'm asking two long-time experts in the field, who've recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for governor romney's campaign, to lead it. we can fix this, and we will. the american people demand it. and so does our democracy. of course, what i've said tonight matters little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource -- our children. it has been two months since newtown.
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i know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. but this time is different. overwhelming majorities of americans -- americans who believe in the 2nd amendment -- have come together around commonsense reform -- like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned. each of these proposals deserves a vote in congress.
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if you want to vote no, that's your choice. but these proposals deserve a vote. because in the two months since newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. one of those we lost was a young girl named hadiya pendleton. she was 15 years old. she loved fig newtons and lip gloss. she was a majorette. she was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend.
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just three weeks ago, she was here, in washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. and a week later, she was shot and killed in a chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house. hadiya's parents, nate and cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. they deserve a vote. gabby giffords deserves a vote.
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the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of oak creek, and tucson, and blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence -- they deserve a simple vote. our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges i've outlined tonight. but we were never sent here to be perfect. we were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity,
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and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government. we were sent here to look out for our fellow americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. we should follow their example. we should follow the example of a new york city nurse named menchu sanchez. when hurricane sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring -- they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe. we should follow the example of a north miami woman named desiline victor.
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when she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. and as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. because desiline is 102 years old. and they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read "i voted." [applause]
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we should follow the example of a police officer named brian murphy. when a gunman opened fire on a sikh temple in wisconsin, and brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. he fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the americans worshiping inside -- even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds. when asked how he did that, brian said, "that's just the way we're made." that's just the way we're made. we may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. but as americans, we all share the same proud title -- we are citizens.
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it's a word that doesn't just describe our nationality or legal status. it describes the way we're made. it describes what we believe. it captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others, and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these united states, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our american story. thank you, god bless you, and god bless the united states of america.
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>> sent to marco rubio gave the republican response to the state of the union. he made two statements, one in
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english and spanish. his english speech is next. you can find the spanish version on our website. > good evening, i'm marco rubio. i'm blessed to represent florida in the united states senate. let me begin with congratulating president obama on his second term. i have the honor of responding to the state of the union address on behalf of my fellow relationships. -- fellow republicans. i have the special privilege lidge to address our troops from arled the world. the state of the union address is a reminder on how the unique the american history it is. america is exceptional because we believe that every life at every stage is precious and that every one everywhere has a god-given right to go as far as their atlantaed -- talents will take them.
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this idea is personal. my parents immigrated here to improve their life and to give their children a better one. my dad worked as a bar tenor -- bartender and my mother as a maid. i did not inherit any money from them but i inherited something better. an opportunity to make it to the middle class and beyond no matter where you start off in life. it comes from a free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. when they suck they hire more people who -- success they hire more people. presidents in both parties from john f. kennedy to ronald reagan have known that our economy is the source of our middle class prosperity.
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but president obama, he believes it is the cause of our problems. that the economic down tun happened because the government did not tax enough, spend enough, or control enough. as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for washington to tax more, borrow more, and spend more. this idea that our problems were caused by the government that was too small, it is not true. in fact, the major cause of our recent downturn was the housing crisis created by the government policies. the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help middle-class taxpayers is an old idea that has failed. it will not help you get you ahead it will hold you back. it will limit your opportunities and more government isn't going inspirnse more idea, new businesses, it's going to create uncertainty. more government breeds complicated rules and laws that small businesses can't afford to
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follow. more government raises taxes on employers who pass the costs on to their employees to fewer hows, lower pay, and even layoffs. many government programs that claim to help the middle class often end up hurting them. obamacare was supposed to help middle class americans afford health care but now some are losing their health care insurance they were happen -- were happy with. they are being forced to lay people off and switch from full time employees to part-time workers. does this mean there is no room for government? of course not. it plays a crucial part in enforcing rules and providing some security against the risks of modern life. but governments role is widely limit bid the constitution.
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-- limited by the constitution. there are valid reasons to be concerned about the plan to grow the government. any time anyone opposes the president's agenda he and his alleys attack their motives. no matter how many laws we pass our government can't control the weather, he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air. when we suggest to strengthen our safety net programs he accuses of wanting us to leave the elderly to defend themselves. he even criticized us to race taxes to delay military cut, cuts that were his idea in the first place. his favorite attack of all, those who don't agree with him only care about rich people. mr. president, i still live in the same neighborhood i grew up. my neighbors are not millionaires, they are workers who have to get up tomorrow morning and pay the bills.
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they are immigrants and they came here because they were stuck in improvement. the tax increases and the deficit spending that you proposed will hurt middle class families. it will cost them their raises, it will cost them their benefits, it will kevin cost some of them their jobs. it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to help them. i want to protect my neighbors. hard working americans who don't need us to come up with a plan to grow the government, they need a plan to grow the middle class. economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. our economy slarching the last few months of 2012. -- economy shrunk durnring the last few months of 2012.
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if we can get the economy to grow at 4% a year it will create middle class jobs. tax increase can't do this. raising taxes won't create private sector jobs. that's why i hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead, work with us to achieve real growth until our economy. one of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. god also blessed america with abundant coal and natural gas. instead of wasting more money on companies let's open up federal land for exploration. we can grow our energy industry, it will make us energy independent and it will help bring administering back from places like china.
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simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class because it will make it easier for smaller businesses to hire and grow. we agree with the president, we should lowerer our corporate tax rate so companies will bring their money and jobs back here from overseas. we can also help grow the economy if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attack the best and brightest. -- attract the best and the brightest. first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws. helping the middle class grow also requires an education system that brings the skills that jobs entail. we need to incentivize local schools and career training. we need to give all parents, especially the parents with special needs to opportunity to spend their children to the school of their choice.
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because college tuition costs have grown so fast we need to change the way we pay for higher education. i believe in financial aid. i could not have gob to college without it. it is not about spending more money. it is about strengthening and modernizing them. the 20th century work force should not accept 20th century solutions. they are returning veterans, they are single parents so they can earn a decent wage. they are workers who lost jobs that are never come ch coming back. we need student aid that does not discriminate like online courses or degree programs that give you credit for work experience. when i finished school i owed over $100,000 in student loans. today, many graduates face massive student loans.
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we must give students more information on the cost and benefits on the loans they are taking out. all of these measures are key to helping grow the economy. we won't be able to sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve the debt problem. every money we borrow does not help create jobs. the president loves to blame the debt on president bush but president obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight. our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. that is why we need a balanced budget amendment. one of these programs is medicare, especially important
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to me. it provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately to die with dignity. it take pays for the care my mother receives right now. i would never support any changes to medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan to help save medicare without hurting refirees. when is the president going to offer his detailed plan to save it? tonight would have been a good time for him to do it. he faces other challenges as well. we were heartbroken by the tragedy in connecticut. we must be able to fix the violence in our country. our foreign policy, america continues to be indecember pencible to global liberty. the world is a better place when america is the strongest nation on it.
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we can't remain powerful if we don't have an economy that can afford it. nothing has frust rated me more than false choices like the president layed out tonight. the choices are not just between big government and big business. we need an effective government that allows new businesses to create middle class jobs. we don't have to raise taxes to avoid the devastating cuts to our military. republicans have proposed a plan. in other words to balance the budget the choices don't have to be higher tacks. instead we should grow the economy so we create new taxpayers not new taxes. so the government will be able to help those who can't help themselves. every problem can't be solved by the government. many are caused by the moral break down in our society. despite our differences i know
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that republicans and democrats love america. i say we come together to solve our problems. the choices before us could not be more important. if we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous americans ever. if we do not, we will for ever be known as the generation responsible for america's decline. at a time when one showdown after another ends in short-term deals that do little about our problems some believe that our government leaders can't or won't make the right choices anymore. our strength never came from the white house or the capital. it always comes from our people. a people united from the american idea that if you have a dream and you're willing to work hard nothing should be impossible.
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americans have always celebrated an been inspired by those who succeeded. it is the dream that of those who are trying to make it. across this land, parents will hold their newborn children in their arms for the first time. many of these parents -- for many of these parents life has not gone the way they planned. make they were born in circumstances they found it difficult to escape. maybe they are young mothers, all alone, the father long gone. tonight, when they look into the eyes of their children, their lives will change forever. in those eyes, they will see what their parents saw in me and what your parents saw in you. they saw all the hopes and dreams they had for themselves. this dream for a better life of their children is the hope of parents everywhere. politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.
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we americanses have always known better. from the earliest days we embraced liberty and because we did america remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance. each time our nation has faced great challenges what has kept us together is a shared lope for a better life. now, let that hope bring us together again. to solve the challenges of our time and we can write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation a man has ever known. thanks for listening. may god bless all of you. may god bless our president. and may god continue to bless the united states of america. >> senator marco rubio, the republican of florida. delivering the gop response. we are looking at a live shot of
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the u.s. capitol building. it is significantly quieter here than a few hours ago. the president and many members of the cabinet, the supreme court and both bodies of congress for right there in the capitol meeting -- in the capitol building. we would like to get your response. democrats can call us at -- all of the colors, 202-585-3882. -- all other callers, 202-585- 3882. you can catch senator rubio delivering the response in spanish, but he did this evening as senator rand paul delivered a tea party address as well. we have, coming into our facebook page.
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some are talking of rubio. >> rubio is not ready to be president. speakingave soul for the truth about the deficit and our economy. we are also watching twitter. # sotu. members of congress have weighed in with their thoughts. steny hoyer, democrat of maryland says, agree with potus -- we must strengthen the economy. congressman beryl eisa rights -- congressman darrell issa writes -- steve is on our democrats line. what did you like?
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caller: president obama manchin gun-control and universal background checks. -- president obama mentioned the gun-control and universal background checks. he talked about raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. as a democrat, i remember the last time the minimum wage was raised, george bush was the president. as an owner of the business when you have to pay your employees an extra $2 an hour, the operating costs do not go down. cost of other things such as gasoline and milk, they will go up when the minimum wage is raised. talked by creating jobs and getting more people to work. some employers will have to lay
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off workers because they will not be able to keep three or four employees at minimum-wage and once it goes up, they will have to let one or two of those of plays go to keep their operating costs at the same level. >> a pennsylvania caller talking about minimum wage and the gun issue. ken, republican, new york. what did you think about the control? caller: i was shocked the president raised the issue. i am glad he brought it up. i'm surprised of the pie as support.an host: what about senator rubio? caller: i was shocked his delivery. i expected more. i thought he did not connect as well as he would have liked to. although i did find his
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principles, i think he laid something out that we can grow from a work from. host: kentucky, pamela, and dependent. caller: i wanted to give my opinion on the gun-control issue. my father is the detective of my home town. he says there is more than enough gun-control laws to take care of everything everyone is yelling about. as far as the gun bill they want to pass, about assault rifles and what they do not distinguish is the magazines for hand guns
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as well, i own one that has a magazine that holds 15 rounds. a marine on your show the other night said when you are under fire, he might need more than two or three bullets. my objection of the media is they never tell the stories of all the people that have saved their lives and other people's lives from people who are the bad guys. they don't give the data on that. 600 children die each year from just bicycle accidents.
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the: let's listen to president of his own words talking about gun control. >> it has been two months since newtown. this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. this time is different. overwhelming majorities of americans who believed in the second amendment have come together around common-sense reform. like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and mass of ammunition magazines off our streets because they are tired of seeking -- tired of gunned.ut funned
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each of these proposals deserves a vote in congress. if you want to vote no, that is your choice, but these proposals deserve a vote. because in the two months innetown, more than a thousand verdes, graduations, anniversaries -- because in the two months since newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, anniversaries have been stolen. host: let go to new orleans. democrat. caller: i want to talk about
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rubio. about smaller government. i live in a state where we have hurricanes, tornadoes, and anyone that lives on the gulf state, the have the same problem. the first thing that happened after the hurricane, we called on fema. they don't want to pay taxes but how you think they rescue people after disasters? you have to have taxes for the government to run. only the people who do not have the money to really pay taxes to make it run -- somebody is going
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to hurt. host: what did you think about the tone of the president's speech tonight? caller: he did a good speech. the brought out some good points, especially about guns. as to the loans -- and student loans. that is the most important thing going on in young people's lives right now. i have a doctor who described a . - i have allege -shah- daughter who just graduated from college. host: california, republican.
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caller: hi, my name is ken. president obama and delivered a brilliant speech. i am considering switching parties. he talked about everything from deficit reduction to raising the minimum wage to ben control. i thought he gave a brilliant speech. host: year is what president obama is up to. wednesday, north carolina. thursday, he goes to decatur, georgia. on friday, chicago. douglas, california, and pendant. caller: i was amazed at how different the speeches were. president obama delivered one of the best speeches i have heard recently. covered all the cases, was very genuine. i was inspired. then we have marco rubio.
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i was amazed that it was written that way. it was so disjointed, it reminded me of the campaign and what is going on with the republican party now. they scramble to basically exist. the depression was not caused by government regulation of the housing industry. it was a wall street and despite attempts, they have not been able to regulate wall street and that is why we had a depression. thank you. host: orlando, florida, democrat. i am calling about twog
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things. senator rubio, please, don't think about running for president. you really messed up on your speech. host: how so? caller: why? he started in the very beginning giving credit for colleges, for being an immigrant. he said his father -- i am just trying to think. i am an old woman. i am an old woman.
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